A Skunk Story: Part Three
“No paper!? You got to be kidding me!” I shouted to the sky. I dug through my plastic box full of my journals and papers. Everything in the dumb box was full of my own scribbles already. There was not a single clear piece of paper, and it was driving me crazy not being able to find just one. I flipped through my journals. My eyes scanned through every inch, every centimeter, every millimeter of the box’s contents, and there was not a place to write on.
I know, I know. You might think I’m weird, but for me, paper is a necessity. It’s something to organize plans on, something to record my life in, something that records everything that I find necessary, so I don’t lose myself and what goes on around me. Who knows? Maybe one day when I’m gone, my box could be discovered and I’d be more famous than I could ever imagine.
“No! I can’t be out of paper!” I shouted to the sky again.
“Oh stop it, Silver,” Lavalilly said to me. She had been hiding in a tree in my garden for who-knows-how-long, spying on me. “The whole neighborhood can hear you.”
I looked up at her. It wasn’t surprising that she was there. It was a typical Lavalilly thing to do, hang around to find something to make fun of. Then she’d speak up at the time the moment would be most annoying.
Past Lavalilly’s head was the window to Naninhah’s bedroom. From there, Nanin was looking out at both of us. He looked frightened. Hopefully he was only frightened of Lavalilly and not me. Though, with him standing there, I couldn’t help but smile. His presence was always warming.
Lavalilly looked confused. “Oh no. Oh... no. What are you thinking about?”
Naninhah seemed to calm down when he saw my smile. That was good. I then waved up to him, grinning happily.
Lavalilly was baffled. “Is this some kind of trick? If so, then I’m not falling for it.”
Naninhah seemed to show a sign of nervousness after realizing he had something to do with Lavalilly’s reaction. I started laughing at Lavalilly’s confusion, though. I couldn’t help but to find the whole thing funny. After laughing, Nanin seemed to calm down and a smile showed on his face as well.
“What? What’s so funny? Is there something on my face?” Lavalilly asked.
I started laughing harder and it was apparent Nanin was laughing as well.
The Faerie Pteri groaned in frustration, “Stop acting so weird, Silver, or the only friends you’ll ever make are your little paper buddies,” and with a swoop, she exited into the kitchen.
Naninhah saved me from a fight with Lavalilly, which definitely saved a lot of energy. There was still a problem at hand, though. The plan to get Naninhah to stay, and to form a good plan, I would need paper. There was no choice but to go to the store.
Before heading out to the store, I figured it would be best to say goodbye to Nanin. “Hey, Nanin. Open up,” I called to him.
After a small pause, Naninhah obeyed and opened his window. He looked out and down at me.
“I’m going to head to the store, alright? Take care of Misha and Lavalilly for me,” I joked.
Naninhah suddenly appeared to be scared again. He was way too sensitive to be joked with. I knew well that he didn’t like Lavalilly or Misha, and there was no way that he could even be seen by them without getting the shudders. “Oh. No, Nanin. I was only kidding.” I took a pause. Naninhah’s eyes were attached to mine. His ears drooped down and he had a slight frown on his face. The face he wore was no other than the puppy-dog look.
I tried to analyze his facial expression. What did he want from me? Okay. So he did that after I said...- It was then that I got an idea.
“Hey! Do you want to come with me, Nanin?” I called up to him.
He took off his puppy-dog look and once again looked like the regular Nanin. He disappeared from where I could see him in the window. “Hey! Come back here! You didn’t answer.”
I dashed into the house and scrambled up the stairs. I opened the door to Naninhah’s room, and there he was. His black and white tail was sticking out of the oak wood wardrobe Czenko had bought him. When he took his head out of the wardrobe, he was straightening a dark blue baseball cap on his head. He stared at himself through the mirror inside the wardrobe and struck a sophisticated-looking pose. He then reached back and with both of his paws, fluffed up his puffy tail. Then he struck the same pose in the mirror. He seemed satisfied with the reflection of the mirror this time.
Nanin was preparing himself to leave, which gave me a definite yes to my question. It seemed almost as if he was looking forward to leaving, which was surprising since I didn’t think he’d want to wander around outside since he didn’t even like to wander around in the house.
“You ready to go?” I asked him.
He paused before he walked up to me and nodded.
“Let’s go then. I have to get myself more paper as soon as possible so I can-” I then realized that I shouldn’t finish the sentence. I didn’t want Nanin to know what the conversations behind his back were about. He couldn’t know that we were thinking about finding him another family.
As we walked, I felt warm and comfortable knowing that Naninhah was right by my side. Over the time from when I first met him, I felt like I’d grown to know him extremely well. Better than I ever imagined. I imagined it would be extremely challenging to bond with a silent person, but the communication part of our experience together worked very well. I could tell that we had a strong relationship and I felt like he really liked me. I knew I liked him. He was my little brother and my attempts to make him feel welcome were worth every second I spent trying to get to know him.
“I’m really glad that you decided to come with me,” I said on the way there. “Though you don’t say much, you are good company.” I meant every word. Just to think, I was almost walking to the shops by myself, all alone. Misha and Lavalilly wouldn’t want to come with me. Especially Lavalilly. She was like an evil nemesis to me.
I needed to come up with a topic for conversation. There wasn’t much to talk about that I could think of. I didn’t think it was best to talk about our family, since it wasn’t a very nice topic to think about, especially knowing that Naninhah might not stick around. There was only one other topic I could think of.
“We’re out to get paper. And though paper may sound like something that’s not all that important, it is.” How lame! A talk about paper?! Only somebody like Silver would have interest in that! What’s wrong with me? I had to say something that wouldn’t put a fellow Neopet into a snore.
To my surprise, I realized that Naninhah was looking at me with interest. Surely after I continued talking, he would be lulled to Zs in no time.
“Writing on paper is an art. It’s a way to express yourself. Like art, it shows feelings. It gives lessons. It lives longer than any other life. Just to think. If I wasn’t in Neopia anymore, my articles and my box would still be here. In hundreds of years from now, because of literature, Neopets ahead of us can know what this time was like.”
Naninhah’s eyes were fixed on me. He didn’t seem to pay much attention to where he was walking. He apparently was interested. I was extremely surprised. I almost didn’t know how to start up again, but after I started talking again, it flowed smoothly.
“I-It’s great because you, like, can express yourself in ways that you wouldn’t think would be possible. With the Neopian Times, Nanin, I can show the whole world what me and my family is without being afraid of the outcome. But if I went up to make a speech in front of millions of Neopians, I would faint on the spot.”
Nanin smiled at me. I smiled back.
“I’m not so afraid of what people think of me anymore. When I was little I was, but I learned to accept myself. I was a pounded pet too, as you know, but now I feel... like I can live even past my lifetime. Like I can be... more... than just what was once an unwanted pet.”
Nanin’s eyes widened in interest. He walked closer to me, his ears perked up and ready to hear more.
“When I was pounded, I could have very well been a forgotten pet, but I was taken in by such a wonderful family, and I found an art that gave me so much purpose that I’m happy and open to me, and to you, to... Neopia for that matter. I’m not... forgotten. And I will never be, because I found a way to express myself and my feelings to the world without feeling any shame. I actually get Neomails addressed to me from people I don’t even know. I’m known. The feeling I got from the pound doesn’t exist anymore and it’s all thanks to my art. My paper. My writing.”
I stopped walking. So did Naninhah. It was as if we both made an amazing discovery. Both of our faces showed great excitement in the discovery we both made. “Hey... Nanin,” I whispered. “I’ll race you to the shops. And... if you want, I can buy something for you too.”
To be continued...